Portland Press Herald: Items Help Trace Bowdoin Graduate's Career

Story posted February 08, 2010

Memorabilia from a Civil War veteran that came to the College by way of President Mills' first online auction experience is the subject of a front-page article in the February 8, 2010, edition of the Portland Press Herald.

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Shoulder decorations are among the items President Mills purchased and donated to the College. Photo courtesy: Portland Press Herald.

Items belonging to Col. Almon Libby Varney, a Maine native and member of the Class of 1862, were auctioned New Year's Day in Georgia.

President Mills, who donated the items to the College, purchased three lots of Varney memorabilia including an officer's cap, an ostrich-plumed dress hat, a crimson sash, two sword belts with buckles, a set of dress epaulets and various other shoulder decorations.

Excerpts from the article:

Among the items that Mills purchased were Varney's bachelor's and master's degree diplomas from Bowdoin, where he was a member of the class of 1862. A college bill, dated April 17, 1861, shows that Varney paid $23.43 to attend Bowdoin for a semester, that he was a good student and that he missed daily prayers six times.
Mills also purchased Varney's certificate of membership in the Loyal Legion of the United States, signed by former President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1890, and his Army retirement commission, signed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904.
"Bowdoin's connection to the Civil War is very important to us and to Brunswick and to Maine," Mills said. "Having this kind of memorabilia for people to come and look at benefits Bowdoin and our legacy to the community."

Read the article.

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